DUNKIRK (Ron Steel Sports Ground)

This weekend the much delayed remaining ties in the FA Vase 3rd round finally took place, over a month after they were originally due to be played! The FA Vase is my favourite of the major competitions and due to circumstances, I was afforded the chance to witness two tasty cup ties...

Saturday 8th January 2011
FA Vase 3rd Round

Dunkirk 1-2 Ashington
Attendance: 157

For Saturday's game I made my way to Nottingham and the Ron Steel Sports Ground, the home of Dunkirk FC. They were taking on Ashington of the Northern League.

It was a case of making sure I had the right ground as there are two others alongside Dunkirk, those being Bilborough Pelican (Notts Senior League) and Greenwood Meadows (East Mids Counties League). Makes you wonder why these clubs couldn't bang their heads together and arrange some staggered kick offs.* Anyhow, I digress.

Dunkirk now find themselves in the Midland Alliance , having come very far in a few years. I remember them as the opposition in a game I seen on a Central Midlands Hop. They won promotion as champions of the East Midlands League in 2010, having been previously promoted from the Central Midlands league when this league was created in 2008. They are currently mid-table in their debut season at step 5.

Ashington are a famous name in football and they were a Football League club from 1921 to 1929. They are currently mid table in the Northern League and, like Dunkirk, are having a mixed season results wise.

It was no surprise then that the game was a pretty even affair between two equally matched teams and chances were few and far between. The Boatmen went a goal up just before half time, but sadly I missed it and I had to go to the toilet! I believe it was scored by Marquin Smith.

An early second half strike from Scott Blandford brought the Colliers level. Phil Bell scored what proved to be the winner from the penalty spot in the 74th minute, after the very impressive Jonny Godsmark was brought down in the box.

you can watch some 'highlights' here...

* I was subsequently told "There was a staggered kick off on Lenton Lane. The very first Central Midlands Hop featured Sandiacre, Pelican, Dunkirk, Greenwood Meadows, and Graham St Prims for a world record 5 in a day"  So that put me in my place!!

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